Argentina vs. Croatia: Will Messi Rise to the Challenge?
World Cup betting continues this Thursday as teams vie to create separation in the group stage. One such team is none other than Lionel Messi’s, who’ll be vying for a triumph in today’s Argentina vs. Croatia matchup. Let’s check on the 2 team teaser odds to see what kind of matchup we can expect.
2018 World Cup – Argentina vs. Croatia – Thursday, June 21st
When: 2:00 pm ET
Where: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Stream: Fox Sports Go
World Cup Betting Odds:
|Argentina||-½ (+111)||2 (+124)||+115|
|Croatia||+½ (-126)||2 (-139)||+300|
👉 There have now been more penalties (11) at the 2018 #WorldCup than in the entire group phase in 2014 (10)
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 21, 2018
No doubt about it, Messi had a poor showing in his World Cup debut. While it’s true that there’s a ton of pressure on Messi’s shoulder to deliver a World Cup, it’s also true that this is no excuse for the lack of results. Leo ended up having 8 shots on goal in the match against Iceland and ultimately had plenty of opportunities to score. Instead, we saw his goalless performance finish in a draw for his side. Messi is always trying to live up to the shadow Maradona gas cast in international play. Unfortunately, Leo has always come up short. And now Ronaldo, who has delivered a hat trick and a total of 4 goals to give Portugal the lead in the group, is starting to cast a larger shadow over Messi. In short, Barca’s star needs a big performance today to keep both Argentina and his name alive.
Players to Watch: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), and Angel Di Maria (PSG).
Ivan Rakitic, one of Croatia’s biggest stars, is a teammate with Lionel Messi. Naturally, he has already given his Croatian teammates a heads up as to what they can expect from one of the best players from the world. In short, he was warned them about a potential onslaught that they are now inching towards. However, after Croatia opene dup their World Cup action with a 2-0 win over Nigeria, there’s no question this team has the confidence to contain Messi. Moreover, Croatia currently owns the lead in the group and they won’t be giving it up without a fight. We saw the Icelanders contain Messi rather well by surrounding him with 3 defenders at all times. We might see Croatia employ a similar strategy. Then again, we might see Messi be better prepared to counter it this time around.
Players to Watch: Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), and Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona).
Argentina vs. Croatia || World Cup Betting Predictions
- Argentina is 2-2-1 SU in their last 5 games
- Argentina has scored 10 goals in their last 5 games
- The Argentinians have allowed 11 goals in their last 5 games
- Croatia is 3-2-0 SU in their last 5 games
- Croatia has scored 5 goals in their last 5 games
- The Croatians have allowed 5 goals in their last 5 games
Argentina vs. Croatia || World Cup Betting Picks
So which side should online sportsbook players favor in this Argentina vs. Croatia pairing? The odds aren’t favoring Argentina all that heavily, making them a great option straight up. Sign up today to make your World Cup prediction!
Score Prediction: 2-1 Argentina.